Mallam Umar returned home with great happiness, clutching a paper in his hand, and he waved a cheerful greeting. My mother was busy at the stove, while I sat on a small mat, munching on corn, and silently praying for my father’s success.

Curiously, my mother asked, “Mr. Umar, why do you look so elated?” His face was beaming with joy as he replied, “Saratu, do you see where fate has taken us? Our daughter is a true gem.”

My mother’s face lit up with gratitude, and she said, “Alhamdulillah.” 

She turned to me and asked, “What’s going on? I’ve been listening, and I’m curious.” Mallam Umar then handed the paper to my mother, who accepted it with a sense of anticipation.

In an excited tone, my mother said, “Malam, I can’t read, I don’t understand this. What is it about?”

Mallam Umar straightened up and declared, “I bring you good news.”

My mother responded with keen interest, “Please, go on. Tell me.”

Mallam Umar explained, “It’s about Zuhra’s education. The government is taking the initiative. Alhaji Kabir told me all about it.”

My mother exclaimed, “Alhamdulillah! But Malam, we don’t have the means. How can we send Zuhra to school?”

With immense joy, Mallam Umar smiled and reassured her, “Saratu, we don’t need to worry about anything. The government will take care of everything. Zuhra has been admitted to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.”

My mother hesitated for a moment and then exclaimed, “Is this really what the honorable governor said? I was beginning to lose hope in politicians and their promises.”

Both my parents looked at me, and I couldn’t contain my tears of happiness. I had never thought that I would have the opportunity to continue my education, given our family’s circumstances. My father worked as a hat washer, and my mother did her best to support our family. Yet, thanks to the intervention of the Kano State governor, my dreams of attending university were becoming a reality.

My mother stood beside me, trying to comfort me and reminding me that everything was by the will of God. My father, on the other hand, pondered how my journey from Kano to Zaria would be accomplished.

I continued to cry tears of joy, overwhelmed by the unexpected turn of events. However, I knew that my father’s apprehensions might pose a challenge to my dreams. My father feared the uncertainties of life and was worried about my future, especially if I were to get married without any financial stability.

My mother reassured him and said, “Insha Allah, we will overcome any obstacles.”

My father concurred, saying, “Indeed, Saratu, many people praise Zuhra’s character. But I fear the trials of this world. Even now, if Zuhra finds a husband, I have nothing to offer as a dowry because I have no savings.”

My mother replied, “Insha Allah, we will manage.”

My father concluded, “God has willed it so. Let me offer you some advice about the journey from Kano to Zaria; it won’t be easy.”

As I continued to shed tears of joy, I felt a sense of loss within me, as it was customary in our home for adults to have the final say in matters. My father left for work, and my mother and I were left with mixed emotions. Two weeks had passed since we received the letter, and there was still no word from my father. I couldn’t help but cry, and my mother attempted to console me. She stroked my hair, and her own thoughts were troubled.

My mother decided to visit Alhaji Kabir, the chairman, who was washing clothes, while my father was washing his hats. My mother, Haj. Hadiza, discussed my education with Haj. Hadiza, seeking her assistance. My mother didn’t know the outcome of their conversation, but she had faith in Haj. Hadiza’s promise that she would talk to my father about my education.

Upon returning home, my mother reassured me that Alhaji Kabir would speak to my father about my education. We were hopeful, even though my father’s perspective remained uncertain. My mother emphasized the importance of having faith in God’s will.

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